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A Pakistani Student is nominated in ‘Student Oscars’ for ‘100 Steps’

100 Steps - Sou Qadam

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Recently many Pakistani filmmakers and students have been surprising us by winning the Academy Awards and being nominated for the Academy Award. We have seen Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who has not only been nominated but have won the Oscar twice. We must say that our indie filmmakers are doing some serious filmmaking. Such is the case of Shahnawaz Zali, his film “100 Steps – Sou Qadam” has been nominated for the best narrative award in the Student Oscars. Our fingers are crossed for you Shahnawaz.

SEE ALSO:- 20 Pakistanis who made Pakistan proud globally in June 2016

Student Academy Awards are for young filmmakers who are starting out in the film industry and that they want to show the academy that they are worthy of something through their films. These awards have been established for the support and encouragement of young filmmakers. Getting nominated for the student Oscars is a huge deal let alone winning it. In the past, many great filmmakers have won the student Oscars like: John Lasseter (Toy Story), Pete Docter (Inside Out), Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future), Trey Parker (South Park) and Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing). Let’s hope that we see Shahnawaz’ name in the list of these great filmmakers who brings home an Oscar and that he makes some great films and makes us proud.

Shahnawaz Zali is a young filmmaker based in Doha, Qatar and has graduated from Northwestern University, Qatar. He did the Communication program from there which is ideal for an enthusiastic filmmaker. He is a passionate filmmaker and cinematographer and he works at Eye On Lahore who has recently been nominated for Student Oscars, not only that but his film 100 Steps-Sou Qadam has won many other awards at different Film Festivals. A shout out to the young filmmakers of Pakistan, ‘It’s not too late. If he can do it so can you.’

Judging by the trailer of the film, 100 Steps is a film about Jihadis and how these Jihadis persuade young boys and girls to be a part of their network. Produced by 20Q and directed by Shahnawaz Zali, this is a topic that is both great and sensitive, but nonetheless we are hoping that he will do great and we all appreciate the work that he and his crew are doing.

Shahnawaz’ first experience with the inner working of the film happened in his home at Lahore when he was just 12 years old. A Hollywood producer came to his hometown to make a short film, his aunt was cast in it and they had a small role for a flashback and they used him for it. Shahnawaz loved the cinematic process and his love for cinema cultivated through his teens, he wanted to feel what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera. Shahnawaz is a Pakistani born and Lahori bred and he knew at that time that the film industry in Pakistan is not at its best.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy expressed here views on Shahnawaz’s nomination as under:

Before 100 Steps, his first major film was “Muhammad”. Muhammad has been showcased in three international film festivals and earned two Northwestern University, Qatar Student Media Awards, one for best picture and one for best cinematography. After the success of Muhammad, Shahnawaz was offered several remarkable opportunities. He received a grant from Northwestern University, Qatar’s movie studio, Studio 20Q to make 100 Steps-Sou Qadam. Shahnawaz aims to make films that touch people emotionally. As said by Shahnawaz:

An article speaks 500 words, a picture speaks 1000, but I believe a film speaks a million.

Since the release of 100 Steps in April 2015, it has won many awards in different Film Festivals. It has won first place at the 16th Annual Moving Media Student Film Festival in the narrative short category. 100 Steps – Sou Qadam also won the Best Short Film Award in Narrative and Documentary category at Miami Independent Film Festival’s February Edition. 100 Steps has been premiered along with five other top-notch films from Northwestern University in Qatar. It has also won the Best Screenplay award in Northwestern University in Qatar’s Media Awards 2015 and now he has been nominated for the Student Oscars. All we can say is that, Good Luck Shahnawaz!